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question for SF readers (21/08/14 09:02:22) Reply
    Here is a question for Science Fiction enthusiasts.
    Many years ago (30?) i came across a short story book, maybe from Asimov, or Brown. I remember quite clearly one of those stories, but was not able to recover author nor title. Would like your help in finding it out.

    Here it goes.

    An Alien ship comes to earth, looking for knowledge, and the alien captain asks to get access to all earth knowledge, in any form. He is pacific, and just asks to get a copy of it.

    Then the humans bring all the books, and movies, and records, and create a huge pile.

    The alien then starts reading everything, coding each letter/pixel/sound as a number, and writes all the numbers in a special book, without spaces. He gets a huge number.

    Then he writes "0," at the beginning of the huge number, and takes out a shiny short metal ruler out of his pocket. The ruler has a "0" mark at one end, and "1" at the other end.

    He then quickly marks on the ruler a very fine line with his ultra sharp special pen, in correspondence to the big number, and writes "Earth" next to the line.

    He then thanks humanity and leaves.
    His ruler was full of lines.


    Any hints?


Re: question for SF readers (21/08/14 13:34:28) Reply
    no hints from me unfortunately

    but your recounting of it is fucking awesome :)
delicate delinquent

but to be of any help to you here (21/08/14 16:41:42) Reply
    I suggest you also try some of the sf books forums like e.g. "http://www.sffworld.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?69-Help!-Do-you-know-(SF)&s=ada6cdce3614dfe8e27ffc258b259482"
delicate delinquent

Re: but to be of any help to you here (21/08/14 23:44:24) Reply
    it seems a very active sf site with a good community.
    i submitted a query there, will see what comes.


if you feel so inclined (28/08/14 19:05:00) Reply
    you can also try one or more of these:


    (one never can know :)
delicte delinquent

or, maybe better (31/08/14 06:48:57) Reply

    (from that page:
    I know of two book clubs devoted to the Classics of Science fiction: ClassicScienceFiction and ClassicSci-Fi. There is also rec.arts.sf.written, a usenet news group, the granddaddy of online discussion about science fiction. This is the place to ask if you remember a story plot but can't remember the title or author, because the old-timers there can usually remember.)

Re: question for SF readers (24/08/14 18:37:16) Reply
    hm, never heard that one.
    but looking for such words, found another short russian story.. "all the knowledge of the world" by Viktor Denisenko.

    all the knowledge of the world has been put into a super machine. And for 50 years all school and university programs has been turned into how to ask queries to that machine. So then one day the Main Programmer died without saying the password and all that..
    "... so dear people, seems we have forgotten some skills - the Coordinator said. - No worries, the best scientists are trying 2nd day to reinvent the thing called multiplication-table but it will take time.."

not found yet... (25/08/14 22:46:27) Reply
    but search allowed me to find something similar and nice that i did not know.

    I always thought that information content of any irrational number was very high, compared to simple rational numbers. PI being irrational and trascendent is a nice champion in this numbers class.

    But to my surprise i found that actually PI content in terms of information is very low.
    Because a simple (and finite) algorithm can be coded to calculate it.

    So, even if you can find literally anything you want inside PI decimals, the amount of information is low, because the algorithm is simple.

    I am not quite convinced, but here is an interesting page about it, describing Chaitin number, which is much more complex than PI, and actually reduces all knowledge of universe in a single number between 0 and 1.

    As sngle mark on the unit ruler.



Re: not found yet... - sidenote (27/08/14 15:21:04) Reply
    Borges' two models are the Library of Babel, and the single book with 'infinitely' thin pages. All the possible information is there, but it's nearly impossible to find what you want ( or anything useful ).

oh, yes (29/08/14 21:47:23) Reply
    imagine a book with pages so dense like power of continuum (a la George Cantor).
    imagine writing verses on the border of a fractal curve
    imagine playing the music of Chaitin's Omega.

    (25 years ago i wrote some asm code who played on my loudspeaker the bytes coming from a floppy drive. it was very noisy. I did the same for the bytes that were sent to the printer, and this was better because printer was very noisy too.)

    meaning is just like this

    it gets denser and denser around things
    allows reasoning
    deeper creation
    casting analysis light on dark reality recesses.

    world is so beautiful
    and science fiction is gradually becoming future.

    thank you my friend.


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